Sunday, March 1, 2015

What is worse than a vampire in your home?......A teenage Vampire in your home!

“Om Shanti”, my 50 year old mother stared down at me, daring me to respond to her in like. I cleared my throat and spoke, deliberately disobeying her, “ya…see you later.”

“Kahan jaa rahee hai, itni raat me?” she asked, suspicion marring her, unusually high-pitched voice.

“Khana khaa ne…mom.” Well, of course I could have made another bunch of thousand excuses, to save my mother the trouble of imagining my meal, and more importantly the acquisition of it. But then again, where was the fun in that?

I watched her mouth drop in a very wide and very incredulous “O”, along with her eyes, which almost dilated. I could see, wisps of fumes floating out of her ears when she screamed, to my utter delight. Of course I wouldn’t dare show the delight on my face while I stood facing her in an arrogant flick of my head, like any other 19 year old.

“Sunooooo, this girl is going outside again, to drink blood. Pata nahee kis kis ka khoon peeti hai. All my life she has sucked my blood, and now her evil tentacles have spread outside.” I hated this part, I’d been a vampire for only 2 months now, and this already gave my mother the right to claim that I had sucked her blood all my life. Utter rubbish and lies1

She continued, “This vampire….gimpire is just some stupid fashion trend she is following, like when she was in her gothic days, or when she always wanted to wear a moustache like you, sun rahe ho….this has gone on for too long.”

She turned towards me and with her most no nonsense gaze, she spoke, “Tu kahin nahee jayege. Chupchap beth ke roti khaa.”

I turned towards my silent dad, who ignored the entire argument, and focused on the new paper.

His silence encouraged me to further disobey my, overtly annoying and interfering mother. “I’m going, bye. You know I will not survive if I don’t drink blood. Or would you prefer me to make a meal out of you and papa?” This earned a slight chuckle from my silent, still staring at the same page of newspaper, father.
I held my stance with mom and stared down at her, with my hypnotic gaze, but no matter how much I tried to focus, or stress, her eyes burned with anger and disappointment.

“Theek hai jaa, I will pray to Shiv Baba, to forgive you, be kind on you in hell, and give you a better janma next time. At least, you will be born with your limbs intact, where and what family, I cannot do anything about that, except pray.”

“Gee, thanks mom, I promise, my next life would be free of sin?!” Completely impervious to my sarcasm, she then seemed to focus her anger towards my dad, “Sunooooo, aaj couch me so jaana!”

That seemed to bring my father out of his woolgathering, and he jerked around to mom and spoke, “Maine kya kiya?”

I used that distraction to sneak out of my home, walk around the streets of Indira Nagar just to spot a nice six feet tall, athletic and muscular, juicy meal.

Monday, February 9, 2015


“Mummy, you know I have dark-o-phobia.”, spoke my six year old son, Adi.

I had heard the excuse enough and more times in the last month, and honestly, despite being amazed at my child’s ability to create phobias out of thin air, I was tired of listening to the same rant over and over again.

“No darkophobia…farkophobia…we have already spoken about this. You need to learn to sleep in your own room.” I used my most no-nonsense tone, which I hoped fervently, would work on him.

“Mummy do you want me to be traumatized?” Seriously I have no idea how a 6 year old can come with these fancy words?

“Traumatized?” I raised my brows in mock surprise.

“Yes, it is an adult word for getting scared for my whole life….do you….do you want that for me, Mummy?”

“Yes, I do smartass. And guess what, this time, to ensure you do not run to my room in the middle of the night, I’m going to lock you in. Let’s see how your dark-o-phobia works then.” I declared to the horror on his face. That was it, that was the drop of a hat, which brought tears to my mature speaking son. Two…maybe three streams of salty water ran down his cheeks and nose.

“Mummmmmyyyy please, no mummy….please. Don’t lock the room. I promise ill sleep on my own. Please leave the light on, please mummy.”

My heart twisted in pain, and the trauma I had caused him. No…no what should I do? How would he ever become brave, independent to sleep on his own?

I firmed myself, again, “Okay, I will leave the door open, but no light, alright.”

“No mummy please….please….the darkness would take me. Please mummy.” The quiet sobbing turned into a full-fledged bawl, and my son started retching. Damn, now all that he ate for dinner would be regurgitated to decorate my vinyl tiles.

I quickly picked him up and carried the discussion to our bathroom.

And as he retched his dinner, I spoke, “Fine! Let’s make a deal. You sleep in my room with the night light on and I will sleep in yours, with no lights on. And when you see me again in the morning, you will know that darkness can’t take you.”

I saw my son stare at me, through his puffed and tearful eyes, if anything, the horror on his face, increased.
But no, I wasn’t going to become weak now, we had to carry this through.

In spite, of many more arguments, tears and bawling, we stuck to our decision, or rather I did.

With my son in my room, finally lying in exhausted slumber, I went to his room; to his red bed that was covered with his toys. I loved that room. For the life of me, I couldn’t understand why my son wouldn’t want to sleep there. It was every child’s dream bed, the red Steve McQueen.

As promised, I switched off the lights, all lights and the room was pitched in complete darkness. But that did not bother me, it never had. I don’t suffer from dark-o-phobia, you see, if that is even a word.

I think I was in deep sleep, when I felt my duvet being lifted and Adi sneaking into the warmth of his mother. I was too damn sleepy to object, I turned around and enveloped his frail body in my arms. He felt cold, really cold.

Damn, I hated the guilt of making Adi cry, it ripped my heart out, and oh my god, why was he so cold? He was freezing, even his breath on my neck made my body hair stand like bristles.

“Adi, baby why are you so cold?” I asked. There was no response, except for him coming even closer and holding me in a tight cold grip.

Shit, this was not right. He was like a slab of ice.

I opened my eyes to foreboding blackness that fell like a blanket in Adi’s room, and I looked at my son. I couldn’t make him out, except for blood red shining eyes, that looked at me and somewhere darkness spoke is a raspy whisper, “I am here to take you away.”

Adi, knew it was darkness that was out to get him, far end of the spectrum he saw an illuminated door. Behind he heard heavy rasping breaths getting closer by the minute. No…, he had to run. No….mummy, where was mummy? He needed her to fight the darkness, he needed her strength, her logic, her rationale to conquer the demon that had tormented him for months.

His body was paralyzed, it refused to move in fear as the ominous sound of raspy breathing got closer. He tried, he pushed, he prodded his body to move, but damn it….it wouldn’t budge. His stomach was a deep pit of fear and his face ashen.

The last words out of his mouth, before the raspy voice breathed down his neck was ”mummmyyyyyy!”

Adi, woke with a start, his body was covered in cold sweat and he realized he was in his mother’s room. He looked around the comforting cream walls, and floral duvet. His mother was nowhere, and that’s when he remembered the deal.

The deal where she would sleep in his room, if anything the pit in his stomach got bigger and deeper. His body shivered in terror.

He slowly stepped off the bed and walked up to his room, the room where darkness came every night to take him away. The room where he would spend hours, still, in the cold embrace of darkness, with its freezing breath boring down his neck. The room where tears streamed down his eyes, and he prayed he could somehow become brave enough to fight the darkness, with its blood red eyes, and raspy voice.

He reached his door, which was almost shut except for a tiny sliver of opening. He could hear his mother breathing hard, occasionally accentuated by sobs. He knew why, he knew darkness held her too.

What should he do? His mother, his strength, his voice of reason was trapped by darkness. What if, it really took her away?

Okay…he thought, what would Iron man do now? He asked himself. Would he just sit there shivering in fear? Would he ask Jarvis, what to do? He ran back to his mother’s room and picked up the iron man figurine for strength and inspiration.

No…no Iron man wouldn’t just sit there, petrified and cold sweat breaking out all over. He would help mummy. Then Adi, thought about the immense courage it would take to walk into his room, go across and switch on the light, which was next to his cupboard. Oka,y that was too much courage to expect from a six year old. Fine, what would a six year old iron man do? Just then, he knew what he had to do, he would call out to mummy.

Adi ran back to the door, opened it crack, and called out,” Mummy….” First a whisper, when there was no response, he called out a bit louder, “Mummmy!”

Adi could make out nothing in pitch black, until a pair or blood red eyes turned around and focused on him. Oh Jesus….oh Jesus….no no no.
What should he do now….darkness was coming for him.

Just when Adi, was about to turn and run back to his room, he saw two shining diamonds rise behind the red eyes. He realized they were his mother’s earrings.

Suddenly, the red eyes and raspy breathing darkness struggled to move as shining diamonds held it. He saw them fumble and grunt, on the bed, at the ceiling, along the walls.

His mother screamed, darkness screeched. It tried bouncing the diamonds off the ceiling, but Adi knew his mother would not let go. She would not let darkness get him.

Finally, he saw blood red eyes and two shining diamonds, drag across what would be the opposite wall, until the room was washed in light and his mother fell off the top of the cupboard. Light made the darkness disappear.

She ran to Adi, picked him up in her embrace and spoke through tears, “You are never sleeping alone!”

Sunday, January 18, 2015

From Despair to Desperation

I labored myself off my bed, it took exactly 10 minutes for me to lift my legs and place them on the ground beneath. Parts of my body, I never knew existed, ached in anger and pain for the last five years. I trudged to the mirror to take in my sunken eyes, chapped hollow cheeks and smoke stained teeth. I struggled between the decision to just brush my teeth or to take a full-fledged bath. A part of me screamed, “Laura, this is day 3 of not wanting a bath. Aren’t you the disgusting one?”, but then I decided to throw that part, the voice of my conscience, in the “I don’t give a fuck” bucket.

After quickly splashed water on my face, I gargled and tied my messy hair in an even messier bun. Honestly, who was even going to look at me, with my sunken eyes and aged face?

Once I discovered that my almost empty fridge held, only a fungus-infested sandwich, I realized, it was time to make that trip. The trip I dreaded the most, because it actually involved looking into people’s eyes and talking to them, even if it meant asking them to bill groceries. Did I mention before, I have hated the existence of mankind since five years now?

As I walked out into the sunny morning, with people walking around, laughing, children running and playing, I lifted my hands to ensure I did not stink of body odor. Which I actually did? And then ensued another struggle to go back and splash on some deodorant, until I again decided to throw the deodorant into the “I don’t give a fuck” bucket.
I loved that bucket, it made my struggles with myself easier.

As I walked down the street, I couldn’t help but think of a similar street I used to live in, not too far from now, along with my five year old daughter Rhea.

Rhea, with her blonde locks, blue eyes and red chubby cheeks.
Rhea, with the voice of an angel and the curiosity of a cat.
Rhea, who disappeared right from our front yard.
Rhea, whose blood stained shoes and clothes were found in sewage with no body around.
Rhea, who I still hoped lived somewhere with twinkling blue eyes and blond locks.

My dry eyes, no more threatened to fill with tears. I had cried enough for five years, now even my tears were lying in the “I don’t give a fuck” bucket. I knew I was a failure, because I knew who had kidnapped my daughter and yet I could do nothing. My tall bald neighbor, with broad shoulders, a mean scar on his right brow and a long beard, whose basement I had once peeked in and found hundreds of photographs of young girls, had disappeared without a trace.
There wasn’t enough evidence against our neighbor Sam Wallace, you see. And when I did gather my wits enough to go about collecting evidence to somehow make him a primary suspect, Wallace was long gone.

Now as I walked, or rather dragged my drug abused and aching body across the road, I felt two points of heat bore through my back. I slowed down further and tried to scratch my back, when I felt this insane need to turn around.

And turn around I did, only to find a man with long hair, clean shaven, stand there and stare at me. There was something very familiar about him, I struggled with memories in my hazy mind to try and place him. Until, I saw the scar that ran across his right brow.

“Wallace”, I whispered and dragged myself as fast as I could towards him. I needed to meet him, talk to him, look into his eyes. I needed to know what happened to my Rhea. He knew I had recognized him, he was sure I would. Even in my down trodden state, he knew a sliver of my sharp reason existed somewhere.

He looked at me and grinned. He then slowly pulled out a power puff girls handkerchief and threw it on the ground.

I knew that piece of cloth, I knew it! It belonged to my baby, my child, Rhea. He had her, he still had her. Which meant she was alive? My mind ran through a list of possibilities, each one of them, hoping that my lost girl was alive somewhere. She would be 10 years old now. What could he have done with her? Kept her as his daughter? As a maid? Sold her to someone? Used her?

It did not matter now, my baby was still alive. All he had to do was tell me, where she was. I would bring her back, even from the depths of hell.

Oh thank god, I could have gone there and kissed him, given him everything that I had, thanked him profusely for keeping my little girl alive.

And as I tried running in my awkward gait across the road, Wallace turned around and walked away.

“No….no please. Don’t go.” I screamed after him.

“No…..please. stop…..Rhea. Please tell me where she is….please!” He did not listen, his walk turned into a slow jog. Soon, he turned a corner and disappeared out of my sight.

I reached the spot where he had dropped the handkerchief; I picked up what belonged to my five year old girl. It still smelled of her, I fell to the ground and filled the cloth with my tears; tears that were no more in the “I don’t give a fuck” bucket.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Can a dead person come back as both a Zombie and Ghost?

 Life after Chintu!

I wandered listlessly up and down my suburban, two floored home. Mum had been crying constantly since the last 5 days, and occasionally she would, and I believe on purpose, bring out discussions on how I farted so loud last Diwali, that my fart could be heard above all fireworks.  And how I had the most heinous singing voice. Especially whenever I tried singing like Yo Yo Honey Singh.  I was sick of people discussing me, and especially sick of seeing mum, dad and Pingu, my little brother, cry over and over again. Seriously people, I am right here.
And guess what, for once why cant you discuss the good things, like when I was the school prefect, and college journal editor? Is it so hard to say nice things about me?

I sprawled unceremoniously on my favorite couch, and then equally unceremoniously fell on the floor with my butt hovering half way through Shammi aunty’s ceiling, when the doorbell rang.
Right, I needed time to adjust to the fact I was only ectoplasm now. I passed through solid matter. Which wasn’t fun, because it made being a smooth and dignified ghost highly challenging. Seriously, have you ever seen and awkward, clumsy ghost? Neither have I!
Also while I never feel hungry anymore, Id sure like to taste some of that delicious gulab jamun Meenu aunty so religiously sends.

Mum trudged up to the incessant pounding on the door. Who could it be, this late in the night? I tried to use my super speed (man was I glad for that?!) super speed to reach the door, when mum cried out.

“Chintu, mera bacchaaa!” ummm Chintu? Mum I am right here, who was she calling Chintu at the door. And I saw my mother fall on to someone, obviously hugging. WTF, who the hell was she hugging?

As I slowly, walked towards the door along with dad and Pingu. I decided not to pass through any of them. While it gave me great pleasure to send tingling shivers up their spine, now was not the time.

Once I reached the door, I saw mum hugging and crying at me. Me, I tell you. There standing on the door was me, in that stupid red chudidaar my parents had buried me in. My eyes seemed unfocused and red, skin pale and chapped like gooey paper and my hands hanging on my sides. All I could grunt while hugging my mother was, “grrrr!”

Mom, finally left what was left of me, and said, “Maine bahut sai baba se dua kee thi ki tu wapas aa jayee. Now you are back beta. Bhagwan ne meri sun lee.”

Wow, I was right here and my family was getting all excited about the stupid zombie me, who couldn’t even pull her sleeve up when her dirty bra strap showed.

So, I watched my zombie, eat Meenu aunty’s gulab jamuns, while only grunting, “Grrr” and mum calling all our relatives that, “Chintu, maut se wapas aa gayee. Bhagwan ne meri sun lee.” Everyone wanted to talk to the zombie me, and all she had to say was “grrr”.

And mum constantly instructed my petrified father, to plan a trip to Shirdi sai baba first thing tomorrow.

Such melodrama I tell you, all for a sick looking zombie who has no bloody fashion sense.

Days went by, and I realized that zombie me had a limited vocabulary, for example “Grrr”, Grrr” and “Grrr”. Plus she was awkward, falling on straight even paths and then complaining “Grrr”. But she was my mum’s dream daughter, she didn’t talk back, wore all heinous chudidaars my mother bought her. Obviously, my earlier wardrobe of short dresses and leather jackets was packed and buried in the basement.

I hated the zombie me, because even though all she said was “grrr”, people heard her. And all she wore were dirty chudidaars, people saw them. And I was pretty sure soon, she would hunger for human flesh, but atleast she could taste. Life after Chintu was all about living vicariously through a Zombie.